I slid the key I'd found under the map into the door and gently turned the handle. Leaning against the door, praying it wouldn't squeak, I slowly guided it, just enough for me to enter, then gently closed it back. All was quiet and pitch black. I relaxed my back against the wall and stood for a few moments till my eyes adjusted to the dark. The house was warm with a sweet, spicy smell. It reminded me of my grandmothers house. My heartbeat was so loud, I was hoping it wouldn't wake anyone in the home. "Calm down," I told myself. I could feel the perspiration building along my hairline. I inched my way along side the wall till I could see the entrance to the kitchen.
I tiptoed through the dining room and into the kitchen. What a neat little old fashioned looking kitchen. I pictured a lovely old lady who might live in this home. The moonlight shown through the kitchen window. Everything was so neat and organized. I couldn't resist the temptation to look into the fridge and see what was there. I opened the fridge. It gave a loud squeak. "Shoot," I thought. I stood silent for a moment to listen for movement in the home. Nothing. I looked into the fridge and spotted a partly eaten cherry pie and other delicious looking leftovers.
"What am I doing? I can't believe I'm doing this." My stomach began to growl. I was so hungry. It seemed like ages since my last meal. I reached for the cherry pie and placed it on the counter near the fridge. I also grabbed two other plastic containers with leftover food in it. I quickly opened the large one; Wow, baked chicken legs with carrots and potatoes. In the smaller one was rice. How fortunate for me. I was afraid to close the fridge cause I knew it would probably squeak again. I looked about the kitchen wondering which drawer the silverware was in.
"Never mind, I'll just use my hands." I began eating the meal first, even the rice with my hands, then I finished off the cherry pie. It was delicious. Nothing like a satisfied stomach. Even though the food was cold, I enjoyed it immensely. I looked around and spotted a decorated, pink hearted metal looking container that looked like it probably had candy in it, maybe even chocolates. The light from the fridge dimly lit the kitchen. I had to see what was in that container. Beside the container was a small mirror. I picked it up and looked at myself. "oooh, I'm a mess." My dark brown eyes looked fearful, my long, thick hair pulled back with a scarf. And my face so incredibly thin. "How could a young lady like me, brought up in such a nice home be living like this," I wondered. Tears filled my eyes. "I'll just take some candy and leave," I thought. I struggled to open the container. Finally the lid popped open. I saw lots of little brown chocolates. But upon closer look I realized they weren't chocolates, they were large roaches. Lots of them running everywhere as I had freed them. "Eek!" I screamed and began jumping up and down. "Oh my God, Help me," I cried. I tried to run to the door but, suddenly his image was blocking the entrance to the kitchen. I thought I'd faint and then, I did.
When I awoke, he was holding me. I was shaking. "Call the police," I yelled. "Shhh, It's alright," he comforted. "I won't hurt you and they won't either. You found my roach collection." My heart felt weak. I don't know if it was because of how handsome he was or the roach collection thing. "I'm so sorry," I said as I began to weep. He held me in his arms like a brother. He didn't see my ragged appearance but only a frightened little girl, lost and needing guidance. He overlooked completely the fact that I'd broken into his home. And he showed me the love of Christ, a love I'd never known before.
A year later, we were married. Even though he's 10 years older then me, we are perfect for each other. The only thing I have to learn to tolerate is his fascination with roaches and his little roach collection. After all, if it weren't for that, we probably would have never met.
Erica Ndaguba is married to a wonderful Nigerian man and they have 4 wonderful kids. They've been married 7 years. She's lived 6 years on the mission field and returned to the States 4 years ago. She used to teach ESL but now she's a fulltime housewife and mother.